Xiamen: Preparing for the medical exam

If you’re a foreigner looking to take the medical exam (because you want to get a residence permit for a multiple entry student [X] or working visa [Z]), living in China for an extended period of time requires you to take the medical examination. When I lived in Beijing for a year, I didn’t need to take the medical examination since my first stay was originally for only 6 months and when I extended my stay, they only extended my visa and I didn’t apply for a multiply entry visa. This is actually the first time that I took the exam, which initially was something I wanted to avoid at all costs, until something came up that well….required me to face this.

Because my visa(allotted to me by the Chinese embassy in Manila) expires about a few days (they only gave me 150days) before my final examination is to take place, and because I need to go home next month and need to have extra entries back into China in case an emergency happens, I decided to go for the medical exam.

A couple of months back, when I was still in Beijing, I wanted to take the exam but heard lots of horror stories from friends, especially about the blood-drawing part of the exam. I’m not a big fan of needles but I’ve been better at the thought of blood drawing since I’ve routinely been having blood tests every 6months back in Manila, for regular check-ups and the like. My friend was suppose to come with me, but last minute she wasn’t feeling well so I ended up going to the place on my own.

Here’s where it starts:

Things you’ll need to have with you:

> 3 copies of your China-passport-sized picture

> passport

> (as of this entry) 503rmb [a few weeks back it was only something like 450rmb and it’s gone up by 50rmb, so check with your school or workplace for cost updates]

> no breakfast-stomach (this is pretty standard, speaks for itself; have an empty stomach for at least 12hrs before you come in)

Xiamen International Travel Healthcare Center [厦门国际旅行卫生保健中心 (Xiàmén guójì lǚxíng wèishēng bǎojiàn zhōngxīn)]

Add: 116号 Dongdu Road  Huli, Xiamen, Fujian, China, 361012

Open: Mondays-Fridays; 8-12nn, 2-5pm

By bus: Take a bus to the 商检 (Shāngjiǎn) Station. The building will be behind the Xiamen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau (厦门出入境检验检疫局)

Buses that pass by this station: 4路空调, 11路, 22路, 22路空调, 26路空调, 43路, 67路快线, 84路, 102路空调, 107路, 139路, 520路, 520路空调, 522路, 522路空调, 533路, 655路, 841路, 842路, 853路, 856路, 858路, 954路, 958路, 旅游1线

Procedure upon arrival:

When I arrived, I asked a form from the desk and proceeded to fill out the form. After you’ve filled out the form, you have to line up at one of the aisles that say “Accept”. Prepare your passport and the form, and when everything is okay, the person at the counter will ask for your passport and the payment (503rmb). This part will take a while because they have to check out your information on the computer and then they’ll print something and ask you to check if your name is correctly spelled out. Check your name’s spelling carefully! They will give you a receipt and a bunch of small papers, so keep everything with you. After, they will tell you to go inside and go through the 1st-3rd floors for your check-ups. Take the door to the left of the counter.

Medical Exams:

Based on personal experience, these are the exams that you will have to go through. I talked to my friends about the exam and it seems I might have missed an exam or two, but I’m not sure since the guy at the counter said everything was a’okay. It could just be that my friend had a different count the last time she was there, and I myself had a different count. Based on my trip, these are the exams you have to go through~

> X-ray, ECG, Eye test, Ultrasound, Blood test, Urine Test, Blood Pressure + Weight and Height (same room)

When I get my results later, I’ll check out what else I’m missing, hopefully I did everything okay and this is all that’s needed as I don’t want to repeat the entire thing another time.

Tips for the Exam:

> Wear a sort of loose t-shirt as you’ll be required to pull it up during some exams.

> Also bring a book with you or some other form of light entertainment (ipod, ipad, psp, etc) as I heard that sometimes there are long lines for the exam (though that wasn’t the case with when I went).

> If you aren’t sure with the exams and which ones you are suppose to take, just go through the rooms with open doors and ask if you need the exam, most likely (if not most certainly), you do.

> With the blood exam, if you are afraid like me, tell the A-yi ahead of time that you are a bit afraid. She consoled me and told me not to be afraid and that it won’t hurt. I looked away when she was putting the needle through my skin, but it’s actually not as bad as I imagined it to be, just a small prick really….kind of like how it feels back home.

Overall, if there are no lines, the whole procedure should take about 30mins-1hour. As you are required to do the tests without breakfast, the best time to do the exam is in the morning.

Hope this helps!

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